Small Miracles Pre-School

Education institution number:
20536
Service type:
Education and Care Service
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
55
Telephone:
Address:

100 St Heliers Bay Road, St Heliers, Auckland

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1 ERO’s Judgements

Akarangi | Quality Evaluation evaluates the extent to which this early childhood service has the learning and organisational conditions to support equitable and excellent outcomes for all learners. Te Ara Poutama- indicators of quality for early childhood education: what matters most (PDF 3.01MB) are the basis for making judgements about the effectiveness of the service in achieving equity and excellence for all learners. The Akarangi Quality Evaluation Judgement Rubric (PDF 91.30KB) derived from the indicators, is used to inform the ERO’s judgements about this service’s performance in promoting equity and excellence.

ERO’s judgements for Small Miracles Pre-School are as follows:

Outcome Indicators

ERO’s judgement

What the service knows about outcomes for learners

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Ngā Akatoro Domains

ERO’s judgement

He Whāriki Motuhake

The learner and their learning

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Whakangungu Ngaio

Collaborative professional learning builds knowledge and capability

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Ngā Aronga Whai Hua

Evaluation for improvement

Whakaū Embedding

Kaihautū

Leaders foster collaboration and improvement

Whakawhanake Sustaining

Te Whakaruruhau

Stewardship through effective governance and management

Whakaū Embedding

2 Context of the Service

Small Miracles Pre-School is in the grounds of St Heliers Presbyterian Church and Community Centre. A general manager and church council oversee the governance of the service. A qualified early childhood head teacher manages the pre-school and leads the teaching team. The service philosophy and beliefs are underpinned by Christian values.

3 Summary of findings

Children confidently and actively engage with the experiences and resources provided. The service philosophy prioritises child-initiated play to support children’s learning. There is a wide variety of opportunities for children to explore, be creative and work independently.

Effective teaching strategies support children’s interactions and growing social confidence. The curriculum and teaching practices support children to become resilient, show kindness and develop empathy. Children form friendships with their peers and work well together in small group play.

Teachers and leaders are skilful in identifying children’s learning dispositions. Children’s literacy, mathematics, and science learning is visible in children’s assessment records. Their ideas and interests are well documented in curriculum planning. Leaders and teachers incorporate inclusive strategies and practices that prioritise equitable outcomes for children. This includes regular collaboration between relevant agencies and families.

Leaders and teachers foster an environment where all families and children are welcomed. Families’ cultural values, language and traditions are respected and celebrated. Teachers acknowledge Māori as tangata whenua through their reconnection with the local marae and their respect for tikanga Māori values. The promotion and integration of te reo Māori is modelled by teachers and spoken by children.

Teachers take responsibility for building their professional knowledge. They collaborate with the wider community to support and design a responsive curriculum which aligns to the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum.

Service leaders work collectively to sustain a positive working culture with the long-standing teaching team. They work with staff to enact the service’s vision, values, and philosophy through policies and practices. Management processes are regularly monitored and reviewed. Internal evaluation is used to identify and make improvements.

4 Improvement actions

Small Miracles Pre-School will include the following actions in its Quality Improvement Planning:

  • Improve assessment records to show how teachers respond to and support each child’s sense of belonging, cultural identity and learning progress.
  • Develop internal evaluation processes that show the impact of improvements made on outcomes for children.

5 Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Small Miracles Pre-School completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Phil Cowie
Acting Director Review and Improvement Services (Northern)
Northern Region | Te Tai Raki

5 October 2021 

6 About the Early Childhood Service

Early Childhood Service Name

Small Miracles Pre-School

Profile Number

20536

Location

St Heliers, Auckland

Service type

Education and care service

Number licensed for

33 children over 2 years of age

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%+

Service roll

55

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā 45, Asian 5, other ethnic groups 5

Review team on site

June 2021

Date of this report

5 October 2021

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review, December 2017; Education Review, April 2014

1 Evaluation of Small Miracles Pre-School

How well placed is Small Miracles Pre-School to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Small Miracles Pre-School operates from the St Heliers Presbyterian Church and Community Centre. The pre-school has premises and a playground under the church building. The recent construction of a purpose-built Community Centre that adjoins the playground now allows additional space for the centre during wet weather.

The centre attracts children from a wide geographic area, providing sessional and full day services for 30 children over two years of age. Children attend for either full weeks or on days selected by families. They play together in a mixed age group for the majority of the day.

The centre's philosophy clearly spells out the intentions of the service, including Christian values of love, peace, sharing and tolerance. It also states that Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum and Te Tiriti o Waitangi are underpinning documents. The philosophy has recently been reviewed and shared with parents.

The centre has undergone recent changes to staff. At present a lead teacher is working collaboratively with the teaching team to share responsibilities. Several of the teachers have been in the centre for many years. Three of the teachers and the long-term reliever hold full teaching certification.

The Community Centre General Manager oversees Small Miracles on behalf of the Church. The lead teacher reports regularly about the operation of the service.

ERO's 2014 review of the centre reported settled, confident children who enjoyed a caring, inclusive environment. Systems for assessment, planning, evaluation and self-review were in place. Teachers were looking at ways to strengthen consultation with families. Those parents spoken to during this review commented favourably about the daily, informative conversations they have with staff.

The Review Findings

Teachers know children and their families well, and greet them warmly at the start of the day. They encourage children to make decisions about where they want to play, and actively support them. Teaching practices contribute to children's sense of themselves as learners, decision-makers and explorers.

Children enthusiastically initiate and contribute to conversations with teachers and their peers, discussing interests and sharing their thinking. They confidently respond to questions that prompt their thinking and ideas. Teachers support children's acquisition of vocabulary, and invite children to participate in ongoing conversations. Children are articulate and confident speakers.

The philosophy of the centre is clearly evident in the programme. Children have respectful, reciprocal relationships with teachers, and affectionate friendships with their peers. Parents value the inclusive and homely 'feel' in the centre, and the care teachers take of their children. In particular, children with diverse needs are welcomed and nurtured. Teachers foster children's social development.

Teachers encourage children's ownership of their environment. Children's interests guide decisions about programme planning. The learning environment invites children's engagement. It is flexible enough to allow for their emerging interests, and focuses on children's strengths and capabilities. Teachers work to their strengths and interests, and this enhances the programme for children.

Assessment and programme planning processes are currently under review. Teachers are trialling new ways of recording their understanding of children's learning dispositions and needs. Children's portfolios clearly demonstrate teachers' close focus on individual children's progress over time. Teachers could now consider ways of providing more opportunities for children to recognise their own learning and set future goals.

Teachers support children to learn about te ao Māori and the dual cultural heritage of New Zealand. They support each other in using te reo Māori with children. Children understand Māori protocols through daily karakia kai and tuakana/teina relationships between older and younger children. Teachers are aware of the need to continue building their own understanding and confidence in te reo and tikanga Māori.

Leadership in the centre is guiding the promotion of learning and teaching developments. The effectiveness of programmes for children is being sustained and built through good networking with other early childhood services, distributed leadership, and ongoing professional development for staff.

Internal evaluation is providing opportunities for teachers to consider and share their teaching practice and the content of programmes. Teachers should now strengthen their evaluation, by looking more deeply at the impact that their teaching has on children's learning.

Management of the centre is generally efficient and well organised. Annual plans guide day-to-day operations. The development of a strategic plan for the centre is timetabled for early 2018. Appraisal processes are also in place. It is important that these appraisal processes are updated to meet current Education Council requirements. Management should seek external early childhood expertise to appraise the lead teacher, and to support the appraisal of other staff.

Key Next Steps

Centre managers have identified appropriate next steps, including:

  • focusing on bicultural development

  • strengthening teachers' evaluation processes

  • gaining external support for appraisal processes.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Small Miracles Pre-School completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

In order to strengthen policies and procedures, centre leaders have agreed to:

  • redevelop the child protection and the teacher appraisal policies in line with requirements.

[Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, 46, HS31, 1, 2.]

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Small Miracles Pre-School will be in three years.

Graham Randell

Deputy Chief Review Officer Northern

Te Tai Raki - Northern Region

13 December 2017

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

St Heliers, Auckland

Ministry of Education profile number

20536

Licence type

Education & Care Service

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

30 children over 2 years of age

Service roll

63

Gender composition

Boys 34 Girls 29

Ethnic composition

Pākehā
Australian
Chinese
African
British/Irish
other

43
6
4
3
3
4

Percentage of qualified teachers

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:4

Better than minimum requirements

Review team on site

October 2017

Date of this report

13 December 2017

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

April 2014

Education Review

February 2011

Education Review

August 2007

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.